Preparing Ourselves for the High Holy Days

Rabbi Barry Diamond

Think of the last time you attended a play or concert.  You probably saw an advertisement and perhaps even looked up the play or the musicians playing that event.  You may have eaten a special meal beforehand, worn special clothes, and talked about the show with some friends. Each of these small acts help prepare us for our experience; these rituals shape our mindset.  It is certainly possible to enjoy the play or concert without these preparations, but it is much more likely with them.

During the upcoming High Holy Days, services will be conducted virtually.  Therefore, many of our usual rituals will not be available to us.  Large family dinners will be less likely and dressing in nice clothing to attend services will not be necessary.  While this may seem like a loss, it is actually an opportunity to seek out new rituals that prepare us for the High Holy Days.  Sometimes, new rituals may better prepare us than the ones we’ve come to expect.

I would like to invite you to participate in a new ritual that has very old roots.  The name of the month that precedes Rosh Hashanah is called Elul (Ay-LOOL).  During Elul, we are called upon to hear the sound of the shofar each day and read Psalms and reflective readings that encourage us to examine our lives more fully.  Beginning on Friday, August 21, the first day of Elul, we would like to email you one reflective reading for each day leading up to Rosh Hashanah.  These brief readings can water the arid soil of our soul.  To receive the daily reflections, please sign up using the link below.

I look forward to finding new, meaningful ways to welcome the new year with you! Sign Up to Receive the Daily Elul Wisdoms